Painting of animals

In the subjective art of ink painting animals mostly have a symbolic meaning. Often they are not creatures of nature but imaginary creations, e.g. the dragon or phoenix.

It is less the shape but more the meaning that is of importance to the artist:

the tiger as symbol for worldly strength,
the crane as incarnation of the modest wise man,
the dragon as symbol for fertile heavenly power,
the falcon representing the pugnacious Zen-man and
the carp, jerking upwards against the force of the waterfall, reminding the aspirant to courageously overcome any obstacle.